Cartographies of Tsardom: The Land and Its Meanings in Seventeenth-Century Russia

Kivelson, Valerie

ISBN 10: 0801444098 / ISBN 13: 9780801444098
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Ithaca, NY. Cornell University Press, 2006. Hardcover. No dustjacket. 312pp.Toward the end of the sixteenth century, and throughout the seventeenth, thinking in spatial terms assumed extraordinary urgency among Russia's ruling elites. The two great developments of this era in Russian history-the enserfment of the peasantry and the conquest of a vast Eastern empire-fundamentally concerned spatial control and concepts of movements across the land. In Cartographies of Tsardom, Valerie Kivelson explores how these twin themes of fixity and mobility obliged Russians, from tsar to peasant, to think in spatial terms. She builds her case through close study of two very different kinds of maps: the hundreds of local maps hand-drawn by amateurs as evidence in property litigations, and the maps of the new territories that stretched from the Urals to the Pacific. In both the simple (but strikingly beautiful and even moving) maps that local residents drafted and in the more formal maps of the newly conquered Siberian spaces, Kivelson shows that the Russians saw the land (be it a peasant's plot or the Siberian taiga) as marked by the grace of divine providence. She argues that the unceasing tension between fixity and mobility led to the emergence in Eurasia of an empire quite different from that in North America. In her words, the Russian empire that took shape in the decades before Peter the Great proclaimed its existence was a "spacious mantle," a "patchwork quilt of difference under a single tsar" that granted religious and cultural space to non-Russian, non-Orthodox populations even as it strove to tie them down to serve its own growing fiscal needs. The unresolved, perhaps unresolvable, tension between these contrary impulses was both the strength and the weakness of empire in Russia.text. Condition : very good. ISBN 9780801444098[KEYWORDS: RUSSIA, *. Buchnummer des Verkäufers

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Inhaltsangabe: Toward the end of the sixteenth century, and throughout the seventeenth, thinking in spatial terms assumed extraordinary urgency among Russia's ruling elites. The two great developments of this era in Russian history-the enserfment of the peasantry and the conquest of a vast Eastern empire-fundamentally concerned spatial control and concepts of movements across the land. In Cartographies of Tsardom, Valerie Kivelson explores how these twin themes of fixity and mobility obliged Russians, from tsar to peasant, to think in spatial terms. She builds her case through close study of two very different kinds of maps: the hundreds of local maps hand-drawn by amateurs as evidence in property litigations, and the maps of the new territories that stretched from the Urals to the Pacific. In both the simple (but strikingly beautiful and even moving) maps that local residents drafted and in the more formal maps of the newly conquered Siberian spaces, Kivelson shows that the Russians saw the land (be it a peasant's plot or the Siberian taiga) as marked by the grace of divine providence. She argues that the unceasing tension between fixity and mobility led to the emergence in Eurasia of an empire quite different from that in North America. In her words, the Russian empire that took shape in the decades before Peter the Great proclaimed its existence was a "spacious mantle," a "patchwork quilt of difference under a single tsar" that granted religious and cultural space to non-Russian, non-Orthodox populations even as it strove to tie them down to serve its own growing fiscal needs. The unresolved, perhaps unresolvable, tension between these contrary impulses was both the strength and the weakness of empire in Russia. This handsomely illustrated and beautifully written book, which features twenty-four pages of color plates, will appeal to everyone fascinated by the history of Russia and all who are intrigued by the art of mapmaking.

From the Back Cover: "Valerie Kivelson's analysis of mapping and legal disputes in the pre-Petrine Muscovite empire makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the organization of property and territory and so of the nature of serfdom and the Muscovite empire itself. This is exactly the kind of book that demonstrates that maps cannot be relegated to mere illustration; rather, in their production and use, they have been crucial components of all sorts of spatial practice in the early modern and modern worlds. Solidly rooted in empirical research, Cartographies of Tsardom blends the social with the cultural in a truly innovative manner."-Matthew Edney, Director, History of Cartography Project, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"This is a wondrous book that, figuratively and literally, adds another dimension to Russian history. Like a Rosetta Stone, the book introduces the reader to a little-known language, cartography in early modern Russia. With its novel approach, broad comparative context, and graceful prose, Valerie Kivelson's book is a landmark achievement."—Michael Khodarkovsky, author of Russia's Steppe Frontier: The Making of a Colonial Empire, 1600–1800

"Cartographies of Tsardom is a fascinating interdisciplinary book that breaks new ground in assessing the roles of history, geography, social structure, and religion in Early Modern Russia. Valerie Kivelson provides a compelling argument for using visual material as evidence of a consultative rather than dictatorial autocracy in Early Modern Russia. New territorial maps and seemingly mundane maps of land disputes turn out to reflect a center-periphery dynamic of nuanced interaction rather than one-sided dominance, a relationship reiterated in contemporary court cases and government policy. In the charting of physical space, provincial Russians appear determined to mark the value of their own sociopolitical status, all the while conceiving their place in the world within an articulated model of paradise."—Michael Flier, Harvard University

"In this imaginative and provocative book, Valerie Kivelson explores early Russian maps as a source for understanding the mind of early Russia and offers intriguing hypotheses about conceptions of empire, space, law, and society in Muscovy."—Richard Wortman, Columbia University

"Cartographies of Tsardom confirms Valerie Kivelson as one of the most imaginative (and persuasive) interpreters of Early Modern Russia at work today. Relying chiefly on little-studied seventeenth-century maps, she illuminates many of the most important questions about Muscovite Russia: the relationship of state to society, the growth of a multi-national empire, the rise of serfdom, and the place of Orthdox Christianity in the lives of laymen. Along the way, she demonstrates that space and its representations are crucial to the understanding of Russian history and culture."—Daniel Rowland, University of Kentucky

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